AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • In an interview on WGR 550, Bills GM Brandon Beane said they might not have room in the budget to get an extension done with LB Matt Milano this year: “Right now, our cap space is down to a little over $5 million. This year would probably be hard, never say never, but we’d have to get creative. It may make the most sense right now to wait until the offseason.”
  • Beane also articulated what the Bills want to see from QB Josh Allen this year: “We want the game to come to Josh Allen and just be himself. He does not have to try and do something that he’s not ready for. Just use the weapons around you and move the ball.” (WGR 550)

Dolphins

The Dolphins were in the market for an offensive joker-style weapon this offseason and added seventh-round rookie Malcolm Perry, who was a college quarterback. But there was another similar rookie they were even higher on, former Kentucky QB Lynn Bowden, and once the Raiders started shopping their third-round pick the Dolphins pounced. Las Vegas had been converting Bowden to running back after he converted from receiver to Wildcat quarterback his last year in college. Miami will shift Bowden back to receiver but acknowledged he’ll need to develop. 

“We did a lot of work on Lynn pre-draft and when the trade was an option, we did a lot more work,” Dolphins HC Brian Flores said, via the Miami Herald. “We’re excited about having him join our team. There’s a lot he’s going to have to learn. He’s not going to jump out and start playing. He has to learn how we do things. He’s got a lot to learn and [that takes] a little bit of time. We’re excited to have him.”

Jets

Patriots

New Patriots starting QB Cam Newton has answered any doubts about his fit with New England in a resounding way by not only winning the starting job but being voted a captain after just two months with the team. 

“It’s been a match made in heaven for me, just knowing I am at a place where everything is pulling in the same direction and everything is geared towards winning,” Newton said in a radio interview with WEEI via NFL Media’s Kevin Patra.

Of course, Newton himself was among the doubters when he first learned of the Patriots’ interest. He shared the greater public’s perception of Patriots HC Bill Belichick as some kind of dour disciplinarian. But Newton said after getting to actually meet him, “I think every type of stereotype I had about Bill Belichick changed the day I talked to him.” Newton himself is no stranger to image issues stemming from stereotypes. 

“Honestly, it’s because I’m a Black athlete,” he told WEEI. “A quarterback for a long time, I’ve been unapologetic. It’s because I have carried myself in a way that the media hasn’t gave me my just due. But yet at the same time, I do understand that and I don’t have any type of resentment towards that. I embrace who I am, I embrace the moment, I live in the moment. One of the quotes I live by is ‘carpe diem.’ And through it all, I’ve been able to see an opportunity.”

There’s no doubt Newton enters this year with more to prove than possibly any other player. Still, the only people Newton was really worried about proving wrong are his new teammates in New England. 

“I went down a list of things I expect from Bill Belichick, just like Bill Belichick went down a list of things he wants from Cam Newton,” he said. “I think the narrative coming here was kind of stereotypical to an unjust eye, just to see like, ‘well, we heard this about Cam, we heard that, we heard he’s a prima donna, he’s this and that.’ When you really put a microscope to who I really am, there’s a lot of people, a lot of favoritism that has not been favorable for my benefit. But yet through it all, I’m not gonna make this about me… I want to make this about this team and just trying to gain these guys’ trust. Because I think that’s the biggest challenge with doing. Letting these guys understand, ‘Listen, I understand there has been a lot said, I understand. I can feel the eyes and attention that is on me as soon as I walk into the facility but at the end of the day, you guys gotta know a lot of that is BS and I’m here to remove all that.'”

  • Patriots OC Josh McDaniels said while there’s still a long way to go for Newton to master the offense, he’s really enjoyed the experience of working together: “He’s really worked hard. It’s been an enjoyable experience for me and for our staff. There’s never a dull moment. You can see why players gravitate towards him.” (Michael Giardi)

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